Professional Models and City Officials Walk the Runway in July 12 Showcase Produced to Underscore the Cotton/Fabric Export, Design Creativity and Overseas Manufactured Products that Drive L.A.’s Signature Apparel & Trade

SAN PEDRO, Calif. – July 18, 2007 – Highlighting the connection between the glamorous fashion world and the nation's number one container port, the Port of Los Angeles and California Fashion Association recently teamed together to present “L.A. By Design.” The invite-only event with more than 300 guests was held at the Grand Hope Park, the downtown home to the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM).

Taking to the runway alongside professional models were Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti; Councilmembers Jan Perry and  Richard Alarcon; Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner Kaylynn Kim, and Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz.

“A lot of the hippest fashion in stores today starts in L.A. – not just in the minds of creative fashion designers, but also in the export of more than $2 billion in cotton from the Port of Los Angeles,” said Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.  “The raw materials and designs come back to Southern California through our port to store racks and closets across the country.  It’s a multi-billion-dollar cycle that employees tens of thousands of Angelenos.”

“It’s fair to say that L.A. leads the world in casual, lifestyle fashion,” said Ilse Metchek, Executive Director of the California Fashion Association. “The talent here today, along with the individuals being trained for tomorrow, enables Los Angeles to stake its claim as the contemporary fashion capitol of the world. With the assistance of the Port of Los Angeles, we continue to build world wide recognition and create fashion business that make Los Angeles second to no other region on the planet.”

Produced by Jim Watterson, former vice president of public relations and special events for May Company, the fashion show was emceed by Lawrence Zarian, “the Fashion Guy,” and featured well-known California-designed apparel collections for men, women, juniors and children. It showcased brands synonymous with L.A.’s signature fashion industry, including: ABS, by Allen Schwartz; Asha Couture Swimwear; Authentic Fitness; Bebe; Billy Blues; b.i.y.a.y.c.d.a.; Brighton Accessories; Chinese Laundry; Claire's Collection; David Meister; Dina Bar-El; Dreamgirl International; Forever 21; Frederick's of Hollywood; Isabella Fiore; Jerry Leigh; Johnny Was Collections; Just for Wraps; Karen Kane; Knitworks; Lunada Bay; Nixon; P.J. Salvage; Poleci; Single; Skechers; Sue Wong; Tadashi; Timmy Woods Handbags; Trina Turk; Vans; and YMI Jeanswear.

“L.A. By Design” was the latest Centennial special event created by the Port of Los Angeles to illustrate the Port’s intrinsic connection with L.A.’s history and the present industries that fuel the Southern California economy.  The Port of Los Angeles and neighboring Port of Long Beach are the nation’s gateway for more than 43 percent of goods imported into the U.S.

Celebrating its Centennial in 2007, the Port of Los Angeles is America's premier port.  As the leading seaport in the nation in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 259,000 regional jobs and $8.4 billion in annual wages and tax revenues.  A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars.  At the Port of Los Angeles, high priority is placed on responsible and sustainable growth initiatives, combined with high security, environmental stewardship and community outreach.  For its industry leading environmental initiatives, the Port received two Environmental Protection Agency awards in 2006.  The Port of Los Angeles – A Cleaner Port.  A Brighter Future.